European industry and power giants put Green Bonds in the spotlight

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The massive brands span power, transport, waste management, and real estate. Credit: Engie

Nine of Europe’s industrial power giants and most prominent green bond issuers have clubbed together to put green bonds – mechanisms that are beginning to draw huge traction worldwide – at the heart of their financing strategies.

Massive brands EDF, Enel, ENGIE, Iberdrola, Icade, Paprec, SNCF Réseau, SSE and TenneT, which span power, transport, waste management, and real estate, have pledged to increase their own green bond activity and called upon other industrial corporates to consider issuing green bonds, as part of the Paris 2017 Climate Finance Day.

The pledges suggest Green Bonds are set to take centre stage in clean energy financing. Indeed, Green bond issuance in 2017 had already surpassed the US$100 billion milestone last month, marking a new annual record, according to Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) data.

So far, all nine companies have issued a total of €26 billion in Green Bonds, which accounts for over 10% of total outstanding Green Bonds.

The first such bond was issued 10 years ago and these financial instruments now finance renewables, energy efficicency, low carbon transport and buildings, and a range of other environmental programmes.

Xavier Girre, group senior executive vice president, Group Finance, at EDF, which yesterday announced plans to develop 30GW of PV in France by 2035, said: “Since EDF’s first issuance in 2013, Green Bonds have become central in financing the Group’s strong ambitions in renewables. Through this pledge, EDF reiterates its commitment as a frequent issuer aiming for the highest standards and an active corporate contributor to shaping sustainable finance solutions.”

Alberto De Paoli, chief financial officer at Enel, said: “Green bonds are a powerful instrument for promoting and supporting the transition towards a low carbon economy, and Enel will continue to play a prominent role in their ongoing growth and development in the global capital markets.”

José Sainz Armada, chief financial officer of Iberdrola, said: “Through independent certification, private investors guided by ethical principles ensure their funds are managed with a sustainable perspective and the strictest social criteria.”

There were similar comments from representatives of each of the nine companies.

The most recent green bond news includes Philippines-based commercial bank, BDO Unibank, issuing its first green bond of US$150 million for sole investor International Finance Cooperation (IFC), and Indian Railways Finance Corporation issuing its inaugural US$500 million green bond on behalf of Indian Railways — the world’s fourth largest rail network.

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